Argentina v Germany: tactical preview

July 1, 2010

Miroslavas Klose
“Remember this fixture from 2006? The goals, the penalties, the fights? Of most interest in tactical terms was Jose Pekerman’s decision to withdraw Juan Roman Riquelme towards the end of normal time, and replace him with the far more defensive-minded Esteban Cambiasso. In doing so, he gave up on his preferred 4-3-1-2 / 4-4-2 diamond shape, and switched to a very basic, rigid 4-4-2. Argentina went from being 1-0 up, to 1-1, to losing the game on penalties.” (Zonal Marking)

Germany’s Opponents: Part Five – Argentina
“Germany go into Saturday’s quarter-final clash against Argentina as the underdogs. Despite their 4-1 win over rivals England, Germany will still be looked at as second best compared to Diego Maradona’s Argentina. Argentina’s form so far during the World Cup has been sensational, and the goals from the albiceleste have been flowing. Diego Maradona has his side playing controlled, attacking football, while also being responsible defensively.” (Bundesliga Talk)

Forget total football, Holland just need total success

July 1, 2010

“Walk up to a Dutch supporter and say these words: “Remember 1974?” Do so and you’ll bring to mind the vivid series of events that defined how an entire generation views football. It was the 1974 World Cup in Germany that gave the Dutch a glimpse of football at its breathtaking best and the world, seeing such a spectacle for the first time, christened the flurry of orange: total football.” (Guardian)

US Soccer: 4-4-2′s And Heartbreak

July 1, 2010

“As I’ve chronicled on this website before, The Yanks Are Coming was born out of the failure of the 2008 Olympic squad, the disappointment of the Orozco Red Card, the pain of the Netherlands draw, and the heart-ache that stems from elimination of the promising young team in our brief modern footballing era. Appropriately then, this blog continues after a failure even more painful than the Olympics. We all know as USMNT fans that usually if something can go wrong it will; we all know that our soccer team will usually find interesting, new ways to screw up a golden opportunity – their track record of messing up on any stage, especially big stages, is impeccable.” (The Yanks Are Coming)

Shakira’s Remake of “Waka Waka” Hurts My Soul

July 1, 2010

“I’m sure by now many of you have heard Shakira’s ‘Waka Waka’, a white-washed remake of an old Cameroonian song by Zangalewa masquerading as a World Cup anthem. As I’ve heard Shakira’s version throughout the tournament, I’ve been quite confident that puppies somewhere have been dying. And then something odd happened. I started humming “Waka Waka” everywhere and I’ve been hating myself ever since.” (Nutmeg Radio)

World Cup Quarters – “& Then There Were 8″

July 1, 2010

“The typical suspects have overcome group stage difficulties to rise to the top. However, no smoking gun has appeared to point out the single culprit most likely to win the tournament. Using a really big magnifying glass, a trench coat, a smart talking sidekick, and intuition, we embarked on an investigation of the remaining teams in this World Cup quarterfinals, searching for clues in a sea of uncertainty. Our conclusion as to who will win the World Cup?” (futfanatico)

Hodgson eager for star players to stay put

July 1, 2010

Roy Hodgson
“New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson hopes to persuade star players such as Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay with the club. Hodgson officially took on the job vacated by Rafael Benitez on Thursday, and he will have to overcome the doubts of players and supporters ahead of Liverpool’s first Europa League qualifier at the end of July.” (ESPN)

Roy Hodgson ‘can’t force’ Fernando Torres or Steven Gerrard to stay at Liverpool
“Hodgson has claimed he ‘cannot nail their feet to the floor’ when asked about the future of the club’s most influential players. Flanked by Martin Broughton, Hodgson emphasised that financial issues remain under the supervision of interim chairman, but added he would endeavour to keep both Torres and Gerrard at the club.” (Telegraph)

Roy Hodgson heads for talks with Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher
“Roy Hodgson plans to meet Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher this afternoon after being unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool.” (Guardian)

Player ratings – the best and worst performances

July 1, 2010

“Since the World Cup started, users have been rating the players after each match. From our monster list of all ratings, we’ve pulled out four key lists” (Guardian)

Domenech becoming international political outcast

July 1, 2010

“This article from the Guardian highlights the extent to which the French football crisis is becoming one of international proportions, now being taken up at the highest levels of the French government. At first glance, one might think: why should politicians have any role in talking to a football coach?” (Soccer Politics)